by VR Sreeraman on  September 24, 2009 at 12:47 PM AIDS/HIV News
 UN, NGOs to Fight HIV Mother-to-child Transmission
UNAIDS signed a partnership deal with several non-governmental organizations at the United Nations to work to eliminate HIV mother-to-child transmission in Africa.

The deal signed as world leaders gathered here for this week's UN General Assembly session, aims to accelerate action on HIV/AIDS and "correct the glaring inequality" faced by children in the face of the scourge, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe told a press conference.

Rolling back the AIDS pandemic is one of eight poverty-reduction Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) to be achieved by 2015 as decided by world leaders at their 2000 summit.

Sidibe said out of the two million AIDS-related deaths last year, 1.9 million occurred in developing countries, including 1.7 million in Africa.

More than 300,000 babies are born every year with the virus, most of them in Africa and 30 percent of them died before their first birthday, he added.

The agreement signed Monday aims:

• to prevent women of child-bearing age from acquiring HIV infection.

• prevent unintended pregnancies among women living with HIV.

• prevent HIV transmission from women living with HIV to their children.

• provide care, treatment and support to mothers living with HIV, their children and their families.

Signatories include Columbia University's Earth Institute led by leading US economist Jeffrey Sachs and the Millenium Promise Alliance, an advocacy group pushing for implementation of the MDGs in Africa.

The partnership deal was signed in the presence of Presidents Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.

Source: AFP

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